Definition of terms (for non-Nigerians)
Amala: Thick brown dough / paste made from grinded yam flour
Ewedu: Leafy green vegetable, blended and made into draw soup
Ogufe: Goat meat
Buka: Mini cafeteria (Noisy, open, somewhat neat, ”airy” etc)
Canteen: Midi cafeteria (Sometimes noisy, neater, a bit open, etc etc)
Restaurant: Maxi cafeteria (A bit cool, a bit organized, neat, enclosed, etc etc etc)
Yes they got me addicted to their Amala + Ewedu + Ogufe!!!
Once upon a time, I used to detest ‘eating out’ because, well, I was
am a picky eater who gets so irritated easily by almost everything and anything. I hate houseflies hovering around when I’m eating. I hate seeing specks of anything on the tip of my plate or cup. Add to that the fact that I used to have a very sensitive system’ (whatever that means)
Add to that again the fact that I am a grown married woman + kids with fair culinary skills. (Yes, I can definitely cook to save my life and anybody else”)
Note: ”Eating out” is different from ”Eating out” (KFC is different from Buka)
I remember the first time I forgot my carefully made and packed meal at home and I just could not endure the hunger pangs anymore that I had to send the office assistant to go get me something to eat during lunch. Initially thought the cup of tea I took before leaving home would suffice till evening. She came back with this tantalising ”bowl” of porridge spiced with vegetable from this well-known neat restaurant/eatery around Ikeja.
I approached the meal with apprehension but finally succumbed when my intestinal worms could not endure the fast anymore and had resorted to feeding themselves on my intestinal walls.
The first bite…yummy..second bite..yummier. All reservations flew out of the window and I descended on the meal with so much relish, savouring the meal till the very last oil drop.
3 days after, I was still stooling my intestines out.
It was an awful experience, so bad that I swore off ‘eating out’ and stuck resolutely to my decision.
(Sorry, I don’t swear, never)
For a few months, that is.
And then I forgot my meal at home again.
And then a colleague introduced me to this ”better” place and swore by his breakfast their meals are always neatly prepared even though the Buka was not big. Infact so neat and delicious that people ”travel” from farther places just to have their meals there.
And they have a certain combination / delicacy which is their best selling point or unique selling point: Amala + Ewedu
And he was right, no sooner had I stepped feet into the shack than I saw all manners of people, different shapes and sizes, pretty ladies with suited and booted men, all queing up to get their own share served. The queue started from outside ni o. I almost turned back but my ”guide” urged me on.
(I even met my one of my very ogas at the top there sweating it out while combating his bowl of amala+ewedu+gbegiri!)
15 minutes later, I had my meal served and I soon settled down to enjoy it. And I did enjoy every bit and bite.
My bowels did not revolt this time.
Maybe they just took pity on me or maybe they just approved the meal or maybe they were just indifferent this time.
I went back the next day for more.
A year after I discovered them, I strolled down to have my daily dose only to find the “We have moved” sign. Apparently, the state government repossessed the land and they had to move from the Buka and upgraded to a Canteen nearby.
And I moved with them.
From a Canteen to a Restaurant.
4 years after that first bite, I still go back there and I order only amala+ewedu+ogufe.
Even though yours truly knows how to make this dish, it just doesnt taste the same and she has continued to frequent the restaurant, 4 years on. (They should make me a shareholder, I know)
And I still see all manners of cars and ”executives” queing patiently for their own portion.
These days I even conveniently forget my lunch pack at home knowing I have an alternative.
And I still get up very early to prepare meal for hubby and the kids.
So, anyone reading this with a remedy or medicine that can cure amala+ewedu+ogufe addiction, feel free to drop it in the comment box. I am serious o.
Be your sister’s keeper and have compassion on my purse. (Did I mention that their packages are not cheap?) Oh, I didnt, well they are a tad higher than obtainable everywhere else.
Some say they must be adding or must have added “something”
jazz to their meals to make people keep coming back. I don’t know about that o and I make sure I bless my food before eating, always.
PS: I visited today…again.
PPS: Remember to drop your ”cure” in the comment section, please, biko, ejoo
PPPS: If you are around Ikeja in Lagos State, you are hungry and dont know where to eat…holla at me